Our responsibilities as mothers include providing basic needs for our children: protecting them from danger, loving them unconditionally, and preparing them for the future. In that spirit, I want to share a story with you.
Each Sunday I lead high school students at church. It’s an opportunity to step out of toddler land for a moment and interact with teenagers in their world. Recently, I asked the students to break into groups and complete the following exercise.
As you can imagine each group provided a variety of different answers as to how they would spend their money. Obviously, it is easy to see that $100 doesn’t even come close to meeting all those needs. The simple point of the exercise was to help these students open their eyes to real need that exists right here in our city, the magnitude of the need.
Then I got a response that I wasn’t expecting. From the front row a voice spoke up and said,
“That mom just needs to apply for food stamps, the kid should get a job, public school provides school supplies, why should I have to help any of these people? I work hard for what I have why should I have to give my stuff to anybody else?”
Like wildfire the group began to explode with more and more solutions for each situation that did not require giving them any of the original $100. The money that was fictional, that they had neither earned nor deserved, now remained solely in their possession, kept far away from these people that had been transformed in an instant from those in “need” to those that has made “bad decisions.”
Moms, we are in a crisis, a crisis of compassion. We have a responsibility to teach our children to love others more than we love ourselves. We have the power to shape a generation of men and women that feel less entitled and more sympathetic. Our children watch our every move. May we find ways to build compassion into our daily lives, to model compassion for our children in our words and deeds. We have a responsibility to one another, but most importantly we have a responsibility to our children. A responsibility to build within them and around them a life that cares for those in need.